· Allocation for education, health hiked
ð The state budget this year has laid special thrust on a few key areas like education, health, agriculture, tourism, forests as well as women empowerment, besides encouraging self-employment opportunities in the state. However, there has been a cut in the funds allocated for disaster management.
ð A whopping amount of Rs 8190 crore has been kept for school and higher education. While the allocation for school education is Rs 7,632 crore in this financial year, up from Rs 6,741 crore last year, the higher education budget has risen from Rs 548 crore to Rs 513 crore.
ð An amount of Rs 2,545 crore has been kept for the health sector, up from Rs 2,286 crore in the 2018-19 budget. Rs 150 crore has been kept reserved for Atal Ayushman Yojana, which assures free medical treatment upto Rs 5 lakh for each person. The state government intends to cover all 23 lakh families of the state under the project. For Haldwani Medical College, a provision of Rs 119 crore has been made. Besides, the budget has provisions of 76.85 crore for Almora Medical College and Rs 85.65 crore for Doon Medical College while Rs 440 crore has been kept for the National Health Mission.
ð The state government has made a provision of Rs 1,341 crore for farmers which is around Rs 375 crore more than last year. Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi – under which farmers holding agri land less than 2 hectares are to be given Rs 6,000 per annum, the state government has kept a provision of Rs 450 crore for the first year. Similarly, Rs 100 crore has been allotted for the efforts to double the income of farmers. An amount of Rs 215 crore has been proposed for the payment of farmers for 2019-20. To promote traditional forms of farming, an amount of Rs 104 crore has been reserved. As far as the forestry sector is concerned, around two-third of area of the Himalayan state is covered by forests and keeping this fact in mind, the state government has reserved Rs 1,034 crore for the department. The amount is around Rs 226 crore more than FY 2018-19. While Rs 228 crore has been kept for projects under CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning), Rs 41.28 crore has been provisioned to promote and encourage the green cover in the state.
ð The tourism sector, considered one of the mainstays of the Himalayan state’s economy, has witnessed a small rise in funds allocation. In 2018-19, the state government had made a provision of Rs 183 crore for the sector which has gone up to Rs 200 crore in 2019-20. The state government has allotted Rs 70 crore for the ambitious ‘13 districts, 13 new destination’ project. Rs 46 crore has been reserved for improving the tourism infrastructure in the state.
ð Curiously, even though disaster management is considered important for Uttarakhand – a state which has witnessed several natural calamities – the budgetary allocation for the disaster management department has been brought down for the next financial year. While the amount was Rs 1,148 crore in 2018-19, it has come down to Rs 962 crore in 2019-20. For the repair of damaged infrastructure, a provision of Rs 320 crore has been kept and Rs 26 crore reserved for the district magistrates to use in case of an emergency. There is also a provision of Rs 15 crore for the rehabilitation of people affected by natural calamities.
· World Sustainable Development Summit 2019 Held At New Delhi
- World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) 2019, the flagship event of ‘The Energy and Resources Institute’ (TERI),was inaugurated by Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
- The theme of WSDS 2019 was ‘Attaining the 2030 Agenda: delivering on our promise’.
- Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji was honoured with the Sustainable Development Leadership Award 2019 for his outstanding contributions towards sustainable development in Fiji
· India hiked the custom duty of Pakistan goods to 200 percent
- After the Pulwama terror strike,the Union government has hiked the basic customs duty on all goods imported from the neighbouring country to 200% with immediate effect. This comes after India revoked the ‘Most Favoured Nation’ (MFN) status to Pakistan on February 15 following the Pulwama terror strike, that killed 40 CRPF personnel.
- The two main items imported from Pakistan arefruits and cement, on which the current customs duty is 30-50% and 7.5%, respectively.The hike on import duty of 200 percent effectively means almost banning the imports from Pakistan.
· CBDT proposes 30-40% digital tax for tech giants like Google, FB and Amazon
- The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has prepared a draft proposal under the newly introduced concept of ‘significant economic presence’, also known as digital permanent establishment (PE), which seeks to impose tax at 30 to 40 per cent ratebased on the revenues and user base of such companies in India.
Large Indian companies pay 30 percent corporate tax, while subsidiaries of foreign companies in India have to shell out 40 percent.
· Union Government Raised Rs.10000 Crore From Bharat-22 ETF Offering
- The government has raised Rs 10,000 croreby the additional offering of Bharat-22 Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).
- The additional ‘on-tap’ offering of Bharat-22 ETF was opened for a single day with a base issue size of Rs 3,500 crore and an option to retain over-subscription.
- The issue was over-subscribed 10 times and received bids for Rs 4,00,000 crore till 7 pm. Bids will pour in till 8 pm.
- The Bharat-22 ETFissue received an overwhelming response from all categories of investors including retail investors.
- Himachal passed bill to make Sanskrit 2nd official language
- The Himachal PradeshAssembly passed the Official Language (Amendment) Bill 2019 to make Sanskrit the second official language in the state.
- The bill was introduced in the Assembly by Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahender Singh.
- Once given assent by the Governor, it will amend the Himachal Pradesh Official language Act, 1975.
- Now, Hindi is the official language of Himachal Pradesh.
- The Assembly also renamed Himachal Pradesh University of Health Sciences after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
· About 16 crore Indians consume alcohol: Govt survey
- According to a survey conducted by the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, about 16 crore (14.6 per cent) Indians in the 10-75 age group consume alcohol.
- Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Punjab, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa have the highest prevalence of liquor use.
- After alcohol, cannabis and opioids are the next commonly-used substances in India.
· Sunil Chhetri given first ever Football Ratna Award
- Football Delhi conferred Sunil Chhetri with first ever “Football Ratna” Award.
- Delhi Dynamos player Shubham Sarangi was also honoured.
- Chhetri was recently named as the 6thIndian Footballer in the elite Padma Shri list
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